2015: Year In Review

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2015 has been a great year with a couple of milestones:

I'd like to take some time to talk about each of these items.

NYSC

NYSC or National Youth Service Corps is a one year program for all Nigerians who have completed College or University whether they studied in the country or abroad. It aims to promote unity through different team building activities.

There are two parts to it; the first part is a 3 week camp experience (there is at least one camp in each of the 36 states of the country) that includes some para-military training. The second part begins straight afterwards, each individual is posted to a community to serve as a teacher or medical personnel, as the case may be, but most people assist in teaching in a High School usually in the rural areas.

I was a computer science teacher at Umuobiala Community Secondary School in Isuikwuato Local Government Area of Abia State. We were 5 in my batch posted there and I was one of the two assistant computer science teachers at the school and I was in charge of three classes.

I've never taught in a class prior to this, we had a short training in camp but it's no where adequate for what you face in class. I observed that while most of the kids can read and write, no understanding of what they were reading. They struggled to answer simple questions that required some comprension of what they can clearly read. I also found the curriculum rather inadequate. The kids were learning QBasic in a school without computers or electricity, so everything was theoretical and it sucked big time. I however loved what I was doing and actually miss those kids.

During this time I was also involved in the Nigerian Christian Corpers' Fellowship (NCCF) and eventually became the Zonal Secretary for Isuikwuato zone. It was a tough job that involved preparing daily devotions and assigning people to give them, sharing at our weekly Bible study, preparing reports and presenting them at the state headquarters in Umuahia, Abia State. It was a big responsibility, there were times I felt like I wouldn't make it but thank God I did it, and I'm glad I did. I would pray for strength and wisdom everyday and God gave me the strength and ability to carry out my job.

Harp

I'm not sure how I stumbled upon Harp, I remember needing a server for some frontend toy projects I was working on and discovered Harp. It came with SASS preprocessing so I didn't need another tool to work with SASS. I was intrigued, then when I discovered it can be used to generate static sites, I was sold. Jekyll is great and I looked at it but I was starting to learn Node and JavaScript and wanted to stick with it.

I've had sketches on paper for years for what my site would look like but I suck at CSS ™ so while they looked great on paper I could never translate them to a working site. I could have just used a template but that would rob me of the opportunity to learn plus studying someone else's code makes my head hurt.

The site is simple but evolving, it is built with the help of Twitter Bootstrap and hosted on the wonderful surge. I love surge.

lsdf

lsdf is a commandline tool for listing files in a directory. I can't imagine anyone using it, but I created it because I create lots of files to try things out and usually would ls filename to see if it already exists so I don't need to create it. The problem with ls is that you need to be specific and list filename.extension. I don't care about the extension just the name and that's what lsdf does. So lsdf foo would list foo.js, foo.css ... if it exists and do nothing if it doesn't. At the time of writing, it has a whopping 15 downloads. Winning!!

frontend-links

So I have Pocket for saving things, mostly JavaScript things. JavaScript is such a fast changing language that it's difficult keeping up with all that's going on. I wanted access to some of the best resources that do the best job at explaining the fundamental concepts in JavaScript and that's what frontend-links is. It's not going to be comprehensive, there are a lot of awesome repos for that but it's my learning resource. There are books, videos but mostly blog posts from Yehuda Katz to Kyle Simpson, so you know it's great. Check it out.

For 2016 I have a list of things I want to learn: